ACCESS OSM can help your Benevolence Ministry be more than writing a check….

ACCESS of West Michigan began over 25 years ago out of a need to have a central database to record those who had received help from congregations.  The first official employee was a Caseworker, to coordinate and offer assistance to churches who were being asked for financial assistance.  Now, many years later, we know that the need for this type of position hasn’t changed.  Our goal is to offer information and referral to help your Congregation’s benevolence volunteers/staff be as informed as possible when making decisions on how to spend your limited stewardship monies. By equipping you with ‘name checks’ (i.e. information as to whether an individual has asked for, or received help in the past), as well as sharing information on which agencies are currently offering help, will empower you to create relationships with those in need in our community.

It’s more than writing a check. Helping with the initial emergency may be the first opportunity for you to reach out and become more involved with those in need, and to invite someone to join you either at worship or another church activity. Having recently moved to a new community, I can speak from experience that it’s hard to go into a church where you don’t know anyone. (I challenge you to try this yourself sometime-go to a different church. Walk in and see how long it takes someone to acknowledge you.) Providing a familiar face can be the first step for someone to feel welcomed and hopefully interested in coming back for more. It may take more than one invitation, but what an opportunity to witness and reach-out to someone who may have no memories of church!  We can begin our relationship by meeting the financial need, but then move on to helping to develop a foundation of support and encouragement.  Jesus didn’t make everyone He helped believe exactly as He did.  But by His caring and support, those who were around Him wanted to know more.  We can help plant that seed to want to know more….  Think of the possibilities!!!!